Dropbox is an online file storage service that allows users to upload, share and access files and folders via mobile and desktop apps, in addition to an interface on the web. If you're using the app on your computer, adding files to Dropbox is very simple: you can simply drag and drop them into the Dropbox folder. Uploading files from your smartphone (or using the Dropbox website on a more public computer) is just as easy. Once your files are in your Dropbox, you can download them on any Dropbox-enabled device.
Method 1 of 3: Dropbox website
Step 1. Log into the Dropbox website using the email address and password associated with your account
Dropbox also features an interface on the web that makes it easy to upload files when you're on the go.
- If you're using your own computer, use the desktop app to add files to your Dropbox. The desktop app also allows you to automatically sync files on your Mac or PC using your Dropbox account.
- If you haven't yet created a Dropbox account, create one now before continuing.
Step 2. Go to the folder where you would like to update a file
You can skip this step if you just want to upload your file to your Dropbox main space.
- If there is a folder in your Dropbox where you want to place the file, double-click it to open it.
- To create a new folder, click on the 'New Folder' icon. This looks like a folder with a plus sign (+) on it.
Step 3. Click on the 'Upload' icon
This icon resembles a sheet of paper with a plus sign (+) in the lower right corner.
Step 4. Click on 'Choose Files' and then double click on the file you want to add
It is not possible to add files larger than 20GB via the Dropbox website. If you need to add a larger file to your Dropbox, use the app on a mobile device or desktop
Step 5. Click on 'Start Upload' to add the file
Method 2 of 3: Desktop app
Step 1. Download the Dropbox app
Installing Dropbox on your computer creates a folder that will automatically sync across all your devices. All files in your Dropbox folder will be automatically backed up to your Dropbox account. In your browser, go to Dropbox.com and click "Download the app" in the top right corner of the page.
- Mac: When the download is complete, a box with the Dropbox icon will appear on the screen.
- Windows: Save the file in your Downloads folder. When the download is complete, you need to go to that folder to find the Dropbox installation file (it will end with.exe).
- Never install the Dropbox app on a public computer. Use the Dropbox website if you're not using your own computer.
Step 2. Double click on the Dropbox icon to start the installation
A pop-up may appear asking you to confirm that you want to run the installation file. Click 'Yes' or 'Open' to continue.
Step 3. Enter your Dropbox account information and then click 'Sign In'
If you haven't created a Dropbox account yet, click 'Sign Up' to create one now.
Step 4. Click on 'Open my Dropbox Folder'
Here you will be able to store files that you can view even when you are not working on your computer.
- Windows: The Dropbox folder is created in the user's root folder. If your Windows username is David, you will find the 'Dropbox' folder in C:\Users\David.
- Mac: The Dropbox folder is created in the Home (root) folder.
Step 5. Drag a file or folder from any location on your computer to the Dropbox folder
Once you drop the file in the Dropbox folder, it will be automatically synced to your Dropbox account.
- This will move a file or folder from its original location to the Dropbox folder on your computer.
- To make a copy instead, select the file and then press Ctrl+C (Windows) or ⌘ Cmd+C (Mac) to copy. Paste it into the Dropbox folder with Ctrl+V or ⌘ Cmd+V.
Step 6. Set Dropbox to automatically sync other folders on your Mac
If you want to sync another folder to your Dropbox, move this folder to your Dropbox and create a copy under a different name in the old location.
- First you need to drag the folder into your Dropbox folder (don't try this with built-in system folders, such as 'Documents', as they cannot be moved).
- Right click on the moved folder and select 'Make Alias'. This will create a copy of the folder with the word 'alias' at the end of the name.
- Drag the alias folder back to the folder's original location. The folders are now linked, meaning anything you do with one will happen to the other.
Step 7. Set Dropbox to automatically sync other folders in Windows
If you want to sync another folder to your Dropbox, move that folder to your Dropbox and create a symbolic link to the old location.
- First you need to download and install Microsoft SyncToy.
- Create a new folder (Ctrl+⇧ Shift+N) in the 'Dropbox' folder with the same name as the folder you want to link.
- Open SyncToy from the Start Menu and select 'Create a New Folder Pair'.
- First, click Browse… and select the folder in Dropbox.
- Then click Browse… and select the original folder.
- Click on 'Next' and then choose 'Synchronize'.
- Click on 'Finish' and then on 'Run' to create the link. The folders are now identical and will remain so. Everything you do in one folder will happen in the other.
Method 3 of 3: Mobile app
Step 1. Install the Dropbox app from the App Store or Play Store
If you haven't already installed the Dropbox app on your iPhone or Android device, do so now.
Turn on Wi-Fi before installing apps or uploading files to save your mobile data
Step 2. Open Dropbox and press 'Sign Up'
Enter your name and contact information, then press 'Create Account' to complete the registration.
If you already have a Dropbox account, press Sign in and log in with your Dropbox username and password
Step 3. Tap the + (plus) icon
If you are using an Android device, the + icon is located in the Files folder.
Step 4. Select "Create or upload file" (iPhone) or "Upload files" (Android)
If you're uploading photos, press 'Upload photos' instead. The rest of the steps will be the same
Step 5. Select the file(s) you want to upload and then press 'Upload files'
This will add the files to your Dropbox folder.
Android users: If the file you want to upload is on your SD card and if you don't see it, press the Menu button at the top of the screen, select "Settings" and then check the "Show advanced devices" box
- Think of the Dropbox folder on your computer as your new root folder. Anything you save in this folder will automatically be backed up to your Dropbox account and will be available everywhere.
- Only files and folders in the Dropbox folder on your computer are synced. If you edit the original file or folder outside of the Dropbox folder, don't forget to copy the new version so it's synced.
- If you're using a computer, you can also save files from most applications directly to your Dropbox folder. Click "File", then "Save As" and select the Dropbox folder from the list of locations to save.
- Dropbox makes it easy to share documents with others. Learn how to share folders with friends and colleagues.